Cloud Cost Management and Optimization at Pythian: An Introduction

Posted in: Business Insights

The shift to the cloud as “the new normal” has materially changed not just the technical, but also the financial landscape of computing. Centralized purchasing and price/volume negotiations have given way to ad hoc purchases of cloud resources throughout the organization, making control and price negotiations challenging at best. Even worse, the shift from fixed price to a variable cost utility-style usage model makes it hard to predict, analyze, contain and allocate costs. Couple this with the extreme complexity of the technology — over a million SKUs with tens of thousands added regularly — and a continuing dearth of skilled cloud operatives, and it’s a recipe for waste and inefficiency.

According to Gartner, enterprises may be overspending by as much as 70 percent, with an average waste figure of 30 to 40 percent. Enterprises desperately need to get their arms around this problem as they continue to embrace the cloud. They need, and frankly are coming to expect, the ability to control, forecast and optimize cloud cost and usage on the fly.

According to Gartner, enterprises may be overspending by as much as 70 percent.

These issues are exacerbated by the current challenges caused by our post-COVID environment. Because of the economic pressures generated by the pandemic, IT budgets have been reduced by eight to nine percent even as IT is asked to deploy new technologies to better support remote workforces, new customer support solutions and automation systems. Simply put, IT is being asked to do more with less, which has engendered a pronounced emphasis on cost containment, optimization and efficiency.

 

Pythian can help you reduce your average monthly cloud costs by 20 to 35 percent.

 

Cloud services beckon to customers with tales of enormous cost savings, infinite scalability, increased business agility and the ability to digitally transform organizations to better compete in our increasingly digital world. And these tales are generally true. But far too few companies — especially those in the early stages of their cloud journey — have the staff and expertise to fully leverage the cloud. These companies often lack the tools, the processes, and particularly the expertise in cloud architecture, cloud cost models and the ever-increasing number of cloud services to fully optimize their cloud spend and ensure that this critical infrastructure is fully serving their business needs.

Companies such as these can try to build capabilities in-house — a long and expensive undertaking — or they can partner with managed service providers who offer the tools, expertise and guidance to help them achieve their business outcomes.

It’s for this reason that Pythian has developed the industry’s leading fully managed cost optimization and management service.

Product description

Pythian’s FinOps Cost Management & Optimization service is designed to eliminate the pain points of cloud computing and utility pricing through a fully managed service. The service:

  • Maximizes the value of an organization’s cloud spend while generating an average monthly cloud cost savings of 20 to 35 percent.
  • Uses advanced data, analytics and a powerful combination of AI/ML tools and deep human expertise to continually identify, interpret and enact cloud savings opportunities
  • Offers multi-dimensional visibility and insight into cloud usage and costs, and simplifies decision-making by grouping and analyzing your assets by lines of business, project or team.
  • Helps organizations of all sizes build a culture of financial accountability through increased stakeholder access and visibility into costs and usage data, as well as by enabling cost allocation through showbacks and chargebacks.

Its main features include:

Data collection: The service’s tools collect and consolidate the massive amounts of data and metrics generated by an enterprise’s cloud deployments across Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The data includes finely grained cost and usage information, billing information and basic health and status metrics about the various deployed resources (e.g. uptime and/or load factors for CPU, RAM, storage, and network).

Visibility into cloud costs: Provides granular visibility into cloud environment(s); enabling tracking and visualizing cost and usage patterns. The service dramatically increases access to cost and usage data for a wide variety of stakeholders, and provides a large number of reporting and dashboards appropriate for various roles and requirements. Additional customized reports and dashboards can be created as needed.

Cost optimization: Leverages AL/ML-based recommendations with human expertise to maximize cost savings, capacity reservations, volume discounts and other advanced procurement methods. Drives out waste while increasing performance through rightsizing and workload modernization.

Governance and compliance: Automatically monitors and enforces technical and budgetary thresholds, and prevents spending surprises through ML-based anomaly detection. Customized monitoring coupled with automatic notification helps ensure adherence to both corporate and regulatory requirements.

Financial accountability: Helps build a culture of financial accountability through increased access to customized reporting and analytics. Drives awareness of business metrics. Reinforces common goals by allocating and / or sharing costs among stakeholders through the use of chargeback and showback reports.

Expert advice and interpretation: Provides access to a Dedicated Cloud Advisor who helps manage, report and interpret the data to help maximize cost savings while ensuring business goals are met.

The real challenge in cost optimization is less in providing visibility into the cost and usage data but rather in the ability of stakeholders to properly interpret and act upon that data.

Sifting through the huge volume of cost and usage data generated by the cloud can be daunting for even the most seasoned cloud operations team. To be sure, there are a number of cloud-native and third party tools to help analyze this data and even recommend opportunities for cost savings. But do those recommendations make sense for that particular case?

The real challenge in cost optimization is less in providing visibility into the cost and usage data but rather in the ability of stakeholders to properly interpret and act upon that data. To do so requires an understanding of the various cloud services, the cost and billing models, and how they interact with the particulars of the workload as architected. Many organizations, especially those relatively new to the cloud, do not have that competency. Pythian’s Dedicated Cloud Advisors provide the depth and breadth of expertise needed to help companies of all sizes fully manage and optimize their cloud costs.

Customer benefits

  • Maximizes the value of an organization’s cloud spend while generating an average monthly cloud cost savings of 20 to 35 percent.
  • Provides comprehensible, predictable bills that hide unnecessary complexity.
  • Offers multi-dimensional visibility and insight into cloud costs and usage.
  • Improves cloud cost analysis and forecasting by grouping and analyzing your assets by lines of business, project or team.
  • Helps build a culture of financial accountability through increased stakeholder access and visibility into costs and usage data, as well as by enabling cost allocation through showbacks and chargebacks.

Visit Pythian’s FinOps page to learn more about how your organization can reduce its average monthly cloud costs by 20 to 35 percent.

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Author

About the Author

Director of Offerings
John has over 20+ years of experience designing and developing industry-leading products and services that solve customers' business problems. A noted speaker and evangelist, John is an expert in cloud computing, security and privacy, analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

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